A&A: Non-compliance of 10-day rule regarding CPRA

Q: I have requested email addresses of our County Superior Court officials. The Court Operations Manager has not complied and the 10-day limit has expired. What recourse do I have in forcing disclosure of the information.

A: The only way to enforce the Public Records Act is to file a lawsuit. Short of that, the best thing to do is to continue to contact the agency and request a response. Some times it can be effective to go up the chain of authority and direct your request to someone in a supervisory capacity or to the agency’s attorney.

it seems from your email that you have received no reply at all from the agency. Please note, however, that if the agency has replied and either claimed an exemption, such as personnel files information, or indicated that it has the records but has not actually produced the records, it is not clear that the agency has not complied with the law. The Public Records Act requires only that the agency, within 10 days of the request, “determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination and the reasons therefor.” The law does not require that the records actually be produced within the 10 days.

Bryan Cave LLP is general counsel for the First Amendment Coalition and responds to FAC hotline inquiries. In responding to these inquiries, we can give general information regarding open government and speech issues but cannot provide specific legal advice or representation.